It looks like Damien Duff will be ready to play on Saturday against West Ham at Upton Park.
Damien Duff – expected to play on Saturday
But we still have Mark Viduka, Jonas Gutierrez, Oba Martins, Habib Beye, Jose Enrique and now Alan Smith out injured, and both Joey Barton and Danny Guthrie are banned for Saturday’s game.
That’s eight first teamers out, and our lack of squad strength will show with the number of teenagers we will have on the bench on Saturday.
This looks like a good opportunity for Ignacio “Nacho” Gonzalez to make his first team debut, and the Uruguayan looked good when he came on in the second half last Saturday.
He looked really ready to play in that game, and that was good to see, especially when it was just a horrific match for Newcastle fans to watch. And our other new signing Xisco, who scored the goal, and also put in the best performance of any Newcastle player during the game, will again be leading the line.
Xisco could be another winner – and certainly the Deportivo fans were not too happy when he was sold to Newcastle – always a good sign.
No doubt his attitude is just first class too, and we expect him to become another firm fan favorite. He’s done just excellently so far at the club, in very difficult circumstances
We don’t think Shola Ameobi will start tomorrow, after another terrible performance last Saturday, and we’d really like to see the lads line up in a 4-4-2 formation.
We think the team that Chris Hughton will pick for Saturday’s game will be the following:
Taylor Bassong Coloccini N’Zogbia
Geremi Butt Gonzalez Duff
Subs: Harper, Cacapa, Tozer, Wiafe-Danquah, Ameobi, LuaLua, Donaldson
The attitude of the players will need to be totally different from what it was last Saturday, for us to get anything at all out of this game.
Last season, in the same fixture, we started off very slowly and were 2-0 down fairly quickly, but we got ourselves level by half time and then played much better in the second period.
But we’ll need to start off quickly on Saturday, and hope that we get some top performances from some of the lads. If that happens we can expect to pick something up from this game, but one point has to be good, given the way we played last time out.
It’s a good time for some heroes to show through in our team.